Our Voi Elephant Keeper team received a call from the Kenya Wildlife Service Manyani Ranger Training Academy bordering Tsavo East National Park on the 3rd of November about the plight of a tiny elephant calf.
The ranger trainees had heard distressed baby screams throughout the night and as dawn broke they headed in the direction of the cries to investigate further what the problem could be. To their amazement they found a tiny calf stuck in a deep sided drying waterhole, unable to extract herself, with no evidence of elephants remaining in the area. The herd had obviously made the decision to abandon the calf and head to the safety of the Park Boundary well before day break. The Manyani recruits and rangers rescued the calf and kept her in a stable at the training academy while they alerted our team and waited for our Voi Keepers and milk to arrive on site. Sadly despite everyone wanting to try to reunite the calf with her elephant family neither her herd nor any elephants for that matter were located in the area so any possibility of this happening was ruled out.
Right from the outset Ashaka has been full of boundless energy. We estimated her age on arrival to be around the three week mark as she came to us still without teeth. Ashaka being so young seemed not to miss her elephant family and adapted to her new environment quickly and well, soon becoming totally attached to both her Keepers and her milk bottle. A hanging comfort blanket has given her endless hours of enjoyment out in the forest and in the comfort of her night stable which she shares with an elephant Keeper each night, receiving milk 2 hourly 24 hours a day. She loves to wriggle her trunk around it, resting on it, and taking her milk from under it, and shares a stable close to Kamok, but spends her days in the forest with her tiny elephant friends as we have a number of tiny babies around her age at the moment.